A general magistrate is an attorney appointed by a judge to take testimony and recommend decisions on certain matters connected to court action. However, magistrates issue a written report and recommendation for the court to consider when issuing a ruling. A judge must accept and adopt a general magistrate’s recommendations before it can be considered a court order.
The primary purposes of having magistrates hear cases are to reduce the costs of litigation and to speed up cases. General magistrates are appointed to help manage large caseloads a judge may have. Either party may request that their case be heard by a general magistrate by filing a Motion for Referral to General Magistrate.
Many times, the Court may refer cases to a general magistrate without a motion from either party. Litigants may object to a referral. Most heavy litigated family law cases will be referred to a general magistrate to speed up the process.
What to expect at a hearing before the General Magistrate:
In Florida, all hearings before the general magistrate are recorded (audio). You can expect the hearing to go just like a trial would. Each side will present their case. After considering the evidence and testimony of witnesses, the general magistrate will issue a written report and recommendation for the judge for approval. The parties will then have ten (10) days thereafter to file “exceptions” to the recommended order. See Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.490(f).
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
Have more questions? Let us know by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to develop content to provide you with direction and insight!
For more information:
Check out and subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook
Visit our website
Shop our Legal Templates
No Attorney-Client Relationship or Legal Advice: Communication of information by, in, to or through this Website and your receipt or use of it: (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship; (2) is not intended as a solicitation; (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice; and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on you specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon Web site communications or advertisements. Feel free to contact us if you need legal assistance.